Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, May 09, 2014

Knobler: Yankees shifting philosophy on defense

Or as Michael Kay said a few years ago…“You’ll never see the Yankees doing these shifts!” Oh, and a David Grabiner sighting.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt [Cashman] has always worshipped Billy Beane,” one former Cashman employee said, referring to the A’s general manager who was the star of Moneyball. “He’s so enthralled with Billy Beane, it’s unbelievable.”

Beane remains highly regarded in the game, and his A’s continue to win division titles with nowhere near the resources that Cashman’s Yankees have. There’s nothing wrong with trying to learn from what the A’s have done, or even improving on it.

There’s nothing wrong with embracing shifts, either, even if the early-season numbers said they have actually cost the Yankees three net runs (that wouldn’t have scored without shifts).

Seriously, why should defenders always stand in the traditional positions, when the numbers say that the batter at the plate almost never hits the ball there?

Change isn’t easy, and it’s why the Yankees have stopped shifting behind veteran starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who wasn’t comfortable with it (just as the Rays don’t shift behind David Price, for the same reason). There are occasional grumbles from the Yankees’ pitching staff about the shifts, especially when a hit goes through a hole that would have traditionally been filled by the shortstop or second baseman.

It is a work in progress, but it’s a project that the Yankees are fully committed to, and are convinced will work. In a baseball world where shifts are increasing exponentially, they’re now one of the teams leading the way.

...The Yankees’ shifts come from data delivered by Fishman and David Grabiner, coordinated with major league coaching assistant Brett Weber and then with third-base coach Rob Thomson.

Repoz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:23 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4703267)
Shifts require the pitcher's cooperation. For a shift to work consistently, the pitcher has to be willing and able to throw pitches that encourage the hitter to hit the ball into the shift. It's a testimony to Maddon and Girardi that they aren't blindly wedded to "the numbers" and are prepared to take individual pitcher tendencies into account.

-- MWE
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4703334)
Shifts require the pitcher's cooperation. For a shift to work consistently, the pitcher has to be willing and able to throw pitches that encourage the hitter to hit the ball into the shift.


Apparently teams are getting away from that. They've basically found that the batters are hitting balls to that spot even if you pitch them away from it - that if you have a pull shift on a guy and pitch him away, he's still likely to pull a ground ball. So the pitchers pitch the same way they normally would.
   3. Publius Publicola Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4703340)
“I don’t think there’s any doubt [Cashman] has always worshipped Billy Beane,” one former Cashman employee said, referring to the A’s general manager who was the star of Moneyball. “He’s so enthralled with Billy Beane, it’s unbelievable.”


In fact, I don't think it's an overstatement to say that Cashman has a mancrush on billy.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4703668)
are prepared to take individual pitcher tendencies into account.


There's a fine line between "tendencies" and "irrational resistance to data."

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
tshipman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogA's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes
(120 - 3:39pm, Jul 31)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogJULY 31 2014 OMNICHATTER/TRADE DEADLINE CHATTER
(185 - 3:39pm, Jul 31)
Last: Depressoteric

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3899 - 3:37pm, Jul 31)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogRed Sox trade rumors: 'Very good chance' John Lackey and Jon Lester are traded - Over the Monster
(90 - 3:36pm, Jul 31)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogGeorge "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(151 - 3:29pm, Jul 31)
Last: andrewberg

NewsblogAthletics, Twins Swap Tommy Milone, Sam Fuld
(14 - 3:25pm, Jul 31)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogHardball Talk: Calcaterra: Nationals-Orioles TV Money Dispute about to Explode
(13 - 3:25pm, Jul 31)
Last: I am Ted F'ing Williams

NewsblogCardinals Acquire John Lackey
(84 - 3:21pm, Jul 31)
Last: esseff

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(178 - 2:56pm, Jul 31)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-31-2014
(16 - 2:39pm, Jul 31)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1049 - 2:33pm, Jul 31)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogDifference of opinion on baseball stats as Derek Jeter climbs all-time hits list
(17 - 2:19pm, Jul 31)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogWhy the Mets Are Right to Save the New York State Pavilion
(11 - 2:12pm, Jul 31)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(543 - 1:57pm, Jul 31)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2014
(25 - 1:43pm, Jul 31)
Last: RMc's desperate, often sordid world

Page rendered in 1.9332 seconds
54 querie(s) executed